None of us has any idea.
Jim Hansen, not the Muppet guy but the scientist guy and one of the prominent faces involved in the discussion on climate change, has slightly more of an idea. But mostly what he adds to the debate is profound sinking feeling that we have no idea what we're in for. One thing's for sure: It's bad.
The following is all happening faster than what scientists had originally predicted:
- The arctic ice is less than half of what it was a few decades ago.
- Mountain glaciers are already receding all over the world. This will have huge impacts on fresh water supplies when they are gone (less than 50 years).
- Ice sheets are losing mass at a significant rate.
- Coral reefs, a critical marine ecosystem, are dying off.
- Sub-tropics have expanded by 4 degrees toward the poles. This is causing severe droughts in places like California whose populations outstrip it's new, lower water supply.
Not even the scientists studying this are able to grasp the speed of it all. Seasons are shifting. Southern temperatures are coming northward. Climatic zones are altering. And with that birds and other animals are migrating to stay where they are most viable. This changes everything. And everything changes everything which changes everything which changes everything again. Follow me? It's all connected, it's all in motion, and we have very little idea what's going to do what to what. Billions of input factors, hundreds of trillions of possible scenarios, and humans are barely scraping the surface of what is going on.
Some of us don't even believe any of this stuff is actually happening. Companies like Exxon pay people to lie to them (even though they promised to stop doing that). But one day those people are going to be dead and their children will be left with a planet that's very very different. For one thing, most of the living things on Earth will be dead too.
Here's the Interview: